Hello everyone! my name is Tobias and I can be found helping the web team, store and events. Like most people at Warlord, it’s easy to fall into periods of history that you previously didn’t have an interest in, and one of those periods for me is the American Civil War. At the onset of my ACW addiction, I was initially a little intimidated at spending my limited hobby time painting the size of forces I inevitably coveted. So imagine how insanely happy I was (like many of our customers!) when we announced our Epic Battles Scale ACW.
After Grabbing a few copies of Wargames Illustrated, I formulated a plan to get my two forces off the ground ready for some Epic Battles.
The game plan began with the natural desire to be in a position (as all gamers want to be) to plonk both forces on a table so I can spread my addiction to ACW to unwitting friends and family members. I painted up two frames initially (one in Union colours and one Confederate), to get a good benchmark for what was possible at my skill level before I committed to batch painting the entire forces.
Pre-ordering the Starter set has netted me a total of 24 Regiments, cannons and mounted commanders, which is more than enough to fill my 6’×4′ gaming space. The battlefields of the Civil War were packed with soldiers, so five base units (100 men) that come on a single frame would look really cool on the table for games of Black Powder. The single frame covers all aspects of the ACW in some description (big blobs of infantry, Massed Cannon, Officers), and with new releases announced this week, we can also look forward to some unique infantry regiments and supporting cavalry too, which is very exciting.
At first, my plan was going to simply paint the Union in dark blue and light blue and the Confederates in grey and butternut, these were the main colours after all. However, with just a little research I found out that there were a plethora of different uniform styles and colours used in the American Civil War and I’m not just talking about the Zouave uniforms. As a result, I had decided to take it upon myself to find the most outlandish uniforms of the Civil War as well as famous units such as the 5th Massachusetts and represent them on the tabletop. The series of pictures below show just some of the various units I have painted that wore a uniform that wasn’t just blue or grey.
I knew going into this project that painting 2400 men would be a big ask so once I had painted a sprue for each side I decided to break it down into smaller “easier to paint” chunks.
How I decided to do this was to paint up smaller infantry units, so units of 3 bases (60 men) instead of 5 bases (100) men. This meant that fairly quickly I would have several units painted up so I could play small games straight away. Once I have 12 units aside painted up, I will pad the units out until each infantry unit has 5 bases each.
The first wave has given us the main components of a Civil War army, but what about cavalry and Zouaves I hear you say. Well, dismounted cavalry and Zouaves were teased in the release video and the next wave is now here! I can’t have Civil War battles without either of these units so will of course be adding multiples of each into both armies.
My tips for tackling our new little fellas
Our new range of Epic Scale models is not only a new scale for Warlord Games but it’s also my first foray into painting soldiers smaller than 28mm and there are a lot more men to paint. Very soon after starting I realised that painting smaller models requires a different approach to painting 28mm and that there are several things I can do to make it easier and quicker to boot.
Here are my 3 tips for painting our new Epic Battles scale.
1.Try painting on the sprue.
Painting on the frame is not a new thing and there have been countless arguments over the years between those who paint fully built models, those who part assemble when painting and those who paint on the sprue. However, the Epic Battles frame is so well designed that with just a few clips of each strip you can see in the picture across that when you spray and paint the models you will be able to paint every part of the model so no touching up is required once the models are assembled (this is the major negative for most people when painting on the frame). Also, you will have a solid frame which makes it easy to hold your models while painting.
2.Less is more…when there is less model to paint.
Having painted 28mm models for the majority of my time wargaming, I am used to a reasonably large painting surface in which I can shade and highlight the miniature. I used this same approach with the Epic Scale models and very quickly found that I didn’t need to use that many varieties of washes (one all over of a dark brown works great) and that just a few choice highlights are needed to accentuate the model.
So, as I was planning to paint so many models, to save time and still get a good looking result, a few highlights such as the skin, the chest straps and metal of the rifles will work well.
3. Don’t be afraid to experiment – the plastic kit is very versatile.
With a brief scan of the Facebook and Discord groups you can see that the plastic kit makes it very easy, with just a little snipping here and there, to turn slouch hats into kepis and break the soldiers down into smaller units. The starter set will also give you a grand total of 24 brigade officers on horseback. You will only really need 4 per side, so what could you do with the other 16. Well, while waiting for cavalry to inevitably arrive, I have plans to turn some of these officers into confederate “bushwhacking” cavalry.
In closing, naturally were all very excited about Epic Battles ACW. we really hope you are too. please be sure to share your project photos with us on Instagram using the hashtag #paintingwarlord, you may even end up on the front page of our website. Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing your cool models!